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أوليفر نورث

أوليفر نورث


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مقدمةأوليفر إل. هو مُزين بمارينز ، وهو مؤلف مبيعًا ، ومؤسس شركة صغيرة ، ومخترع بثلاث براءات اختراع أمريكية ، وكاتب عمود مشترك ، ومضيف برنامج "WarStories" على قناة فوكس نيوز. وهو يدعي أن أهم إنجازاته هو "زوج واحد وأب لأربعة أطفال". نورث هو أيضًا المؤسس والرئيس الفخري لـ Freedom Alliance¹ ، وهي مؤسسة غير ربحية تقدم منحًا دراسية لأطفال العسكريين الذين قتلوا أثناء القتال. الشمال يواصل الكتابة والتحدث دفاعا عن جنود أمريكا. وهو أيضًا رئيس مجلس الإدارة والمؤسس المشارك لشركة Guardian Technologies International، Inc. ، وهي شركة مصنعة للدروع الواقية للبدن ومقرها فرجينيا لموظفي إنفاذ القانون.مهنة في وقت مبكر والأسرةولد الشمال في 7 أكتوبر 1943 في سان أنطونيو بولاية تكساس ، ونشأ كاثوليكي روماني في شمال ولاية فيلمونت ، نيويورك. التحق بجامعة ولاية نيويورك في بروكبورت قبل الالتحاق بالأكاديمية البحرية الأمريكية ، التي تخرج منها عام 1968. خدم الشمال في مشاة البحرية لمدة 22 عامًا ، بما في ذلك الخدمة في حرب فيتنام. حصل على النجمة الفضية ، والنجمة البرونزية ، واثنين من قلوب أرجوانية. تم تعيينه إلى موظفي مجلس الأمن القومي في إدارة رونالد ريغان ، وكان الكولونيل نورث منسقًا لمكافحة الإرهاب في الحكومة الأمريكية من عام 1983 إلى عام 1986. وشارك في التخطيط لإنقاذ 804 ميديكال الطلاب في جزيرة غرينادا في عام 1983 ، ولعبوا دورًا رئيسيًا في الإمساك الجريء بخاطفي السفينة السياحية أشيل لاورو في عام 1985. مداهمة قواعد معمر القذافي الإرهابية في ليبيا ، وكان الشمال هدفا للاغتيال من قبل أبو نضال (بناء على أوامر من القذافي) ، الإرهابي سيئ السمعة الذي عثر عليه ميتا في بغداد في أغسطس 2002. تغطية إخبارية قتالية حائزة على جوائز في الشمال ، بينما كان " وقد نالت "وحدات مشاة البحرية والجيش الأمريكية لصالح فوكس نيوز خلال عملية حرية العراق في عام 2003 ، تصفيق واسع النطاق. وقد تزوج أوليفر نورث من بيتسي ستيوارت السابقة منذ عام 1967 ، ولديهما أربعة أطفال. حياة نورث في الجيش ورحلته إلى الإيمان هي موضوعات يتحدث عنها بصراحة: كيفية الموازنة بين متطلبات الحياة المهنية والالتزامات العائلية والإيمان والمسؤوليات المدنية.قضية إيران كونتراأصبح الشمال مشهورًا - أو سيئ السمعة ، اعتمادًا على وجهة نظر المرء السياسية - بسبب ارتباطه بقضية إيران كونترا. كان المنسق المركزي لبيع الأسلحة بشكل غير قانوني عبر وسطاء لإيران ، مع توجيه الأرباح لمساعدة جماعة الكونترا المتمردة في نيكاراغوا. وفقًا لأرشيف الأمن القومي ، في 23 أغسطس 1986 بريد إلكتروني إلى جون بويندكستر² ، وصف نورث لقاء مع ممثل رجل بنما القوي مانويل نورييغا ، وكتب نورث: "سوف تتذكر أنه على مر السنين طورنا أنا ومانويل نورييغا في بنما علاقة جيدة إلى حد ما". يمكن للمسؤولين "المساعدة في تنظيف صورته" ورفع الحظر المفروض على مبيعات الأسلحة لقوة الدفاع البنمية ، وسوف "يعتني" بقيادة الساندينيستا لنا ". أخبر نورث بويندكستر أن نورييغا يمكن أن يساعد في التخريب ضد الساندينيين. واقترح دفع مليون دولار لنورييجا - من رأس مال "مشروع الديمقراطية" الذي تم جمعه من بيع الأسلحة الأمريكية لإيران - لمساعدة الزعيم البنمي في تدمير الاستثمارات الاقتصادية لنيكاراغوا. في نوفمبر 1986 ، طرد الرئيس ريغان الشمال لتورطه في القضية. ، وفي يوليو 1987 ، تم استدعاء الشمال للإدلاء بشهادته أمام جلسات استماع متلفزة للجنة الكونغرس المشتركة التي تم تشكيلها للتحقيق في قضية إيران كونترا. دافع عن أفعاله بالقول إنه يؤمن بهدف مساعدة الكونترا ، الذين اعتبرهم "مقاتلين من أجل الحرية" ، وقال إنه ينظر إلى مخطط إيران كونترا غير القانوني على أنه "فكرة رائعة." حوكم عام 1988 بسبب أنشطته أثناء عضويته في مجلس الأمن القومي. جيزيل في 5 يوليو 1989 ، إلى السجن لمدة ثلاث سنوات مع وقف التنفيذ ، وسنتين تحت المراقبة ، و 150 ألف دولار كغرامة ، و 1200 ساعة من خدمة المجتمع. على الرغم من الإدانة ، ألغت لجنة الاستئناف المكونة من ثلاثة قضاة إدانة نورث بعد أسبوعين ، قبل المحاكمة. المزيد من الإجراءات على أساس أن شهادته العلنية ربما أضر بحقه في محاكمة عادلة. الولايات المتحدة. رفضت المحكمة العليا مراجعة القضية ، ورفض القاضي جيزيل التهم في 16 سبتمبر / أيلول 1991 ، بعد جلسات استماع بشأن قضية الحصانة ، بدعوة من المحامي المستقل. في الأساس ، أُلغيت إدانات نورث لأنه مُنح حصانة محدودة لشهادته أمام الكونغرس ، واعتُبر أن هذه الشهادة أثرت على الشهود في التمثيل.الحياة اللاحقة والوظيفة السياسيةفي عام 1994 ، خسرت نورث محاولة في فرجينيا كمرشح جمهوري للولايات المتحدة ، قد يكون أحد الأسباب أنه قبل الانتخابات مباشرة ، أبلغت السيدة الأولى السابقة نانسي ريغان الصحافة أن نورث كذبت على زوجها في المناقشات حول إيران كونترا. كان ترشيح نورث هو موضوع فيلم وثائقي عام 1996 بعنوان "المرشح المثالي". ألف الشمال العديد من الكتب الأكثر مبيعًا ، بما في ذلك تحت الضغط في وضع حرج, مهمة أخرى, قصص الحرب - عملية حرية العراق, المهمة مهددة، و عقوبة أريحا. وهو أيضًا كاتب عمود مشترك ، ومضيف البرنامج التلفزيوني "قصص الحرب مع أوليفر نورث" ، ومعلق متكرر على "هانيتي وكولمز" على قناة فوكس نيوز. بالإضافة إلى ذلك ، فهو مشغول في دائرة المحاضرات.الإرث السياسي والتاريخيكان نورث لاعباً مثيراً للجدل على المسرح السياسي الأمريكي ، حيث تقبل المؤيدون دفاعه المتحمّس عن أفعاله ، بينما رفض النقاد خرقه للقانون. على الرغم من تاريخ الشمال ، إلا أنه يتلقى الدعم من بعض المحافظين. يرى آخرون أن هدف الشمال في هزيمة التوسع الشيوعي كان عادلاً ، والطريقة التي حاول بها تحقيق ذلك غير ذات صلة. يقدر البعض دفاعه عن القضايا السياسية المحافظة ، ويقول نقاد الشمال إنه في الديمقراطية وأمة القوانين ، لا يمكن لرجل واحد أن يتصرف فوق القانون ، بغض النظر عن مدى صدقه في تصديق أهدافه. يشير البعض إلى أن أنشطته ساهمت بشكل كبير في محاولة الإطاحة بحكومة ذات سيادة ومنتخبة ديمقراطيًا وكذلك في الإرهاب في نيكاراغوا - وأنهم ساعدوا إيران ، وهي دولة معادية للولايات المتحدة. عرف الرئيس ومتى عرف ذلك؟ لا يمكن الرد عليها من قبل أي شخص سوى الرئيس وأقرب مساعديه. وحول تحويل الأموال من مبيعات الأسلحة ، خلال جلسات استماع إيران-كونترا في 15 يوليو / تموز 1987 ، قال: "لقد اتخذت قرارًا مدروسًا للغاية بعدم سؤال الرئيس ، حتى أتمكن من عزله عن القرار وتوفير بعض الإنكار المستقبلي لـ" الرئيس. "إن إنكار بويندكستر الماهر حرّر الرئيس من تهديد توجيه الاتهام وحرر الكونغرس من واجب عزله. وكتب نورث: "بالسماح بتجريم أفعال أولئك الذين خدموا الإدارة ، تمكنت الإدارة نفسها من التراجع عن القضايا الحقيقية ذات الصلة". "كان هذا جيدًا بالنسبة للكونغرس ، وكان هدية للصحافة". هناك دروس واضحة يمكن تعلمها من هذه القضية. فازت إدارة ريغان في النهاية بالحرب الباردة. هل تم فرض الخداع والنفاق على الشعب الأمريكي في نهاية المطاف لانتصار البراغماتية على القانون؟


¹ صفحة ويب لتحالف الحرية
² كان جون بويندكستر مستشارًا للأمن القومي في عهد رونالد ريغان. وأدين بالتآمر والكذب على الكونجرس والاحتيال على الحكومة وتدمير الأدلة في فضيحة إيران كونترا.


إيران كونترا

برز الشمال خلال فترة عمله كعضو في مجلس الأمن القومي خلال قضية إيران كونترا ، والتي تضمنت البيع غير القانوني لأسلحة لإيران لتشجيع إطلاق سراح الرهائن الأمريكيين المحتجزين في لبنان. قام الشمال بتشكيل وتنسيق الجزء الثاني من الخطة ، والذي كان يهدف إلى تحويل عائدات مبيعات الأسلحة لدعم مجموعات الكونترا المتمردة في نيكاراغوا ، والتي كانت محظورة على وجه التحديد بموجب القانون الفيدرالي.

في حديثه عن هذه القضية ، صرح نورث بعدم ندمه:

"لقد رأيت فكرة استخدام أموال آية الله الخميني لدعم مقاتلي الحرية في نيكاراغوا فكرة جيدة. ما زلت أفعل. لا أعتقد أنها كانت خاطئة. أعتقد أنها كانت فكرة رائعة وأنا هنا لأقبل المسؤولية من أجل ذلك الذي فعلته لأنني فخور بما أنجزناه ".


Sandinistas في نيكاراغوا

بعد فترة وجيزة من السيطرة على الكونجرس ، أقر الديمقراطيون تعديل بولاند ، الذي قيد أنشطة وكالة المخابرات المركزية (CIA) ووزارة الدفاع (DoD) في النزاعات الخارجية.

كان التعديل موجهًا بشكل خاص إلى نيكاراغوا ، حيث كانت الكونترا المناهضة للشيوعية تقاتل الحكومة الساندينية الشيوعية.

وصف ريغان الكونترا بأنهم & # x201C المكافئ الأخلاقي للآباء المؤسسين. & # x201D لكن الكثير من تمويلهم ، حتى تلك النقطة ، جاء عن طريق تجارة الكوكايين في نيكاراغوا ، ومن هنا جاء قرار الكونجرس & # x2019 لتمرير تعديل بولاند.

ومع ذلك ، أصدر الرئيس تعليماته لمستشاره للأمن القومي ، روبرت ماكفارلين ، لإيجاد طريقة لمساعدة الكونترا المتاجرة بالمخدرات ، بغض النظر عن التكلفة & # x2014 السياسية أو غير ذلك.


الأمة معاقبة أوليفر نورث

غيرهارد جيزيل ، قاضي المقاطعة الفيدرالية البالغ من العمر 79 عامًا والذي لا يمكن التنبؤ به والذي ترأس محاكمة "إيران كونترا" لأوليفر ل.شمال ، أنقذ مفاجأة أخيرة أخيرًا بمعاقبة السيد نورث على جرائمه بعقوبة تضمنت دفع غرامة ، خدمة المجتمع والمراقبة ، ولكن بدون عقوبة السجن.

توقع المعجبون بالسيد North & # x27s ومنتقديه معاملة أكثر قسوة ، مع الأخذ في الاعتبار احترام القاضي جيزيل & # x27s المتكرر للالتزام بالقانون ، وخطورة التهم والتوصية من المدعي العام المستقل ، لورانس إي والش ، بأن السيد. الشمال يقضي وقتا في السجن. بالإضافة إلى ذلك ، لم يُظهر القاضي جيزيل أي تردد في إرسال مسؤولين حكوميين رفيعي المستوى إلى السجن عندما ترأس العديد من المحاكمات المتعلقة بووترجيت في منتصف عام 1970 و 27.

أدين السيد نورث ، المقدم السابق في سلاح مشاة البحرية ومساعد مجلس الأمن القومي ، بتهمة إتلاف الوثائق ، وقبول هدية نظام أمن الوطن بقيمة 13800 دولار والتحريض على عرقلة عمل الكونغرس. كان يمكن للقاضي جيزيل أن يفرض عقوبة قصوى بالسجن لمدة 10 سنوات وغرامات قدرها 750 ألف دولار. وبدلاً من ذلك ، فرض غرامة قدرها 150 ألف دولار ، وسنتين من المراقبة ، وثلاث سنوات مع وقف التنفيذ ، وأمر بأداء 1200 ساعة في خدمة المجتمع.

ترك تخفيف العقوبة المدعين العامين يلاحقون من قاعة المحكمة دون تعليق. وكان هناك انتقادات متفرقة من الديمقراطيين الليبراليين ، مثل النائب هوارد إم ميتزينباوم من ولاية أوهايو ، الذي قال إن الجملة كانت & # x27 & # x27 مفاجأة مخيبة للآمال. & # x27 & # x27 لكن بعض الديمقراطيين الآخرين ، بما في ذلك النائب لي هاملتون من ولاية إنديانا ، أحد منتقدي السيد North & # x27 الأكثر قسوة ، لم يجد شيئًا ينتقده بشأن العقوبة. قال السيد هاملتون ، رئيس لجنة مجلس النواب التي حققت في قضية إيران كونترا ، إن الجملة كانت & # x27 & # x27 جيدة وحكيمة. & # x27 & # x27

في الوقت نفسه ، بدا أن تساهل القاضي جيزيل أدى إلى تفريغ حملة من قبل مؤيدي السيد نورث و # x27 المحافظين للحصول على عفو رئاسي. وهكذا ، فإن السيد بوش ، الذي أعرب عن سعادته لأن السيد نورث لم يُسجن ، قد يُعفى من قرار سياسي حساس.

كانت الآثار المترتبة على التجارب المتبقية لإيران كونترا غير مؤكدة. قال القاضي جيزيل إن الشخصيات الأعلى في إدارة ريغان تحملت مسؤولية أكبر عن جرائم إيران كونترا أكثر مما تحمله السيد نورث. هل يعني ذلك أن المتهمين في المستقبل يمكن أن يتوقعوا معاملة أقسى ، إذا أدينوا ، من تلك التي تلقاها السيد نورث؟

ليس بالضرورة. وقال بعض المسؤولين الحكوميين إن العقوبة الخفيفة تعزز على ما يبدو موقف المتهمين الأربعة المتبقين ، بمن فيهم مستشار الأمن القومي السابق جون إم بويندكستر ، الذي ستبدأ محاكمته في وقت لاحق من هذا العام. قد يتم تشجيع هؤلاء المتهمين على الطعن بقوة في النيابة العامة ، معتقدين أنه حتى لو أدينوا ، فقد يفلتون أيضًا من عقوبة السجن.


هل تعرف NRA حقًا تاريخ Oliver North & # 8217s؟

غيج سكيدمور / فليكر

لم أسأل ديفيد كورن أبدًا عن السبب ، عندما كان محررًا في واشنطن الأمة، قرر أن يقضي جزءًا كبيرًا من حياته في البحث عن مهنة عميل وكالة المخابرات المركزية تيد شاكلي ، لكنني أعتقد أنه & rsquos رهان آمن أنه لم يستطع مقاومة قصة ربطت خليج الخنازير بسطو ووترغيت وقضية إيران كونترا. ستكون فكرة جيدة لجميع أعضاء الرابطة الوطنية للبنادق أن يذهبوا لشراء نسخة من Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley و CIA & rsquos Crusades (متوفر بغلاف مقوى في Amazon مقابل 3.99 دولار فقط). ربما تكون أبسط طريقة بالنسبة لهم للتعرف على الأشخاص الذين استخدمهم رئيسهم الجديد أولي نورث لتمويل الكونترا.

بالنسبة للجزء الخاص بإيران من الفضيحة ، فإنني أوصي بالفصل الثامن: المؤسسة وتمويلها من التقرير النهائي للمستشار المستقل لورانس إي وولش ورسكووس عن إيران / مسائل كونترا. إنها حكاية آسرة يشارك فيها بعض من أكثر الأوغاد شهرة للتجول في عروق سياستنا الوطنية في النصف الثاني من القرن العشرين. لن تشعر بالملل عند القراءة عن عملاء وكالة المخابرات المركزية Rafael & ldquoChi Chi & rdquo Quintero و Thomas Clines و Edwin Wilson ، صدقني. ومن المثير دائمًا التعرف على أنماط حياة تجار الأسلحة مثل عدنان خاشقجي.

كل هذا مهم لأن الشخصية الحقيقية لأوليفر نورث لم تكن مفهومة تمامًا حتى عندما كان في مركز اهتمام الأمة و rsquos ، وقد ساعد مرور الوقت في هذا الصدد. كان جزء من المشكلة هو أن المستشار المستقل كان عليه إسقاط معظم التهم الخطيرة بحق الشمال لأن إثبات إدانته كان سيكشف عن معلومات سرية ولأن الكونغرس منحه حصانة محدودة ولأن محاميه كانوا مؤهلين للغاية وعدوانيين وراغبين. لاستخدام البريد المحبب في دفاعه.

لقد كان من السهل نسبيًا دائمًا التعاطف مع الشمال إذا كنت تمارس الرياضة أيضًا بشأن العملية غير القانونية التي دبرها. طُلب منه إبقاء الكونترا واقفة على قدميها في الوقت الذي منع فيه الكونجرس أي مساعدة مباشرة لقضيتهم. قال الرئيس إن ذلك مهم وأن وزير دفاعه ومدير وكالة المخابرات المركزية ومستشار الأمن القومي وافقوا جميعًا على ذلك. في وقت لاحق ، طُلب من الشمال المساعدة في إطلاق سراح الرهائن الذين احتجزهم وكلاء إيران في لبنان. كانت هذه أولوية قصوى بالنسبة لرونالد ريغان. كان من الممكن أن يستقيل الشمال الحقيقي بدلاً من القيام بشيء غير قانوني ، ولكن من السهل أيضًا معرفة سبب شعوره بأنه يفعل شيئًا مصرحًا به ووطنيًا.

إذا كان كل الشمال قد اتبع التعليمات التي أعطيت له ، فمن المؤكد أنه كان يمكن اعتباره رجل السقوط. كان ينبغي أن يكون رؤسائه في جدول الأعمال قبل أن يكون ، وكان الرئيس في نهاية المطاف هو الطرف الأكثر مسؤولية. حتى أن بعض أكاذيبه كانت مفهومة لأن رؤسائه كانوا يكذبون ويطلبون منه الكذب بشأن الأمور التي من المحتمل أن تلحق الضرر بالعلاقات الخارجية وتعرض المصادر والأساليب للخطر.

تكمن مشكلة هذه الرواية في أن الشمال لم يكن يتبع التعليمات ببساطة. وضع هو ومساعديه ريتشارد سيكورد وألبرت حكيم خطة مفصلة لإثراء أنفسهم على حساب الكونترا والحكومة الأمريكية. لقد فعلوا ذلك بالقضاء على الصفقات التي أبرموها مع الإيرانيين والإسرائيليين والكونترا والحكومة. هذا من تقرير والش:

استفاد سيكورد والحكيم بشكل كبير نتيجة مشاركتهما في عمليات إيران وكونترا. تلقى Secord في عامي 1985 و 1986 2 مليون دولار من المزايا الشخصية المباشرة من المؤسسة ، وأكثر من 1 مليون دولار في المدفوعات النقدية. تلقى الحكيم في عامي 1985 و 1986 مزايا مباشرة بقيمة 2.06 مليون دولار وأكثر من 550 ألف دولار نقدًا.

تندرج الفوائد في ثلاث فئات عامة: توزيعات الأرباح الموزعة على مبيعات الأسلحة مقابل ، والتي تلقى كل منها 1،557،377 دولارًا من حسابات Enterprise التي دخلت في مشاريع أعمال Secord-Hakim ، بقيمة 520،000 دولار لكل منها ، والأموال المسحوبة من حسابات Enterprise للاستخدام الشخصي ، بما في ذلك إصلاحات طائرة Secord بقيمة 5729 دولارًا ، ومدفوعات قدرها 20 ألف دولار لكل من سيكورد وحكيم لمشروع تجاري في الشرق الأوسط ، و 3000 دولار لكل منهما للاستثمار في مشروع تجاري لأسماك القرموط.

أشرف الشمال على جميع أنشطة Secord و Hakim & rsquos ، وكان له ذوقه الخاص:

شهد نورث أن 4،300 دولار من شيكات المسافر و rsquos التي قدمها له كاليرو للصندوق التشغيلي ، والتي أنفقها الشمال في محلات البقالة ومحطات الوقود ومنافذ البيع بالتجزئة الأخرى ، كان ليعوض نفسه عن النفقات التشغيلية التي دفعها من جيبه الخاص. قال إنه لم يكن قلقًا بشأن تدمير السجل الوحيد الذي يحتفظ به لصرف الأموال التشغيلية لأنه لم يعتقد أبدًا أنه سيتهم بأي شيء غير أمين بالمال.

شهد الشمال بأنه كان لديه 15000 دولار نقدًا في صندوق معدني مثبت على أرضية خزانة في منزله ، تم توفيره من تغيير الجيب وتسوية تأمينية عمرها عقود. قال نورث إن هذا كان مصدر الأموال لسيارة اشتراها في أكتوبر 1985. لم يستطع الشمال تفسير سبب دفع ثمن السيارة في دفعتين نقديتين و [مدش] الثانية بعد أن زار الشمال سيكورد. قال إنه لا يستطيع سحب المبلغ المدفوع في أكتوبر 1985.

ادعى نورث أنه ليس لديه علم بحساب استثماري قيمته 200 ألف دولار أنشأه ألبرت حكيم ، الشريك التجاري لشركة Secord & rsquos ، لشركة North في سويسرا ، على الرغم من أنه اعترف بأنه أرسل زوجته Betsy إلى فيلادلفيا في مارس 1986 للقاء Willard I. Zucker ، Secord-Hakim Enterprise & rsquos مدير مالي. قال نورث إنه يعتقد أن الغرض من رحلة Betsy North & rsquos إلى فيلادلفيا هو تعريفها بنفسها لـ Zucker في حالة عودة North لم و rsquot من رحلة خطيرة إلى إيران. قال نورث إنه يفترض أنه في حالة وفاته ، فسيتم فعل شيء ما كان لائقًا ومشرفًا ولا بأس بأي شكل من الأشكال ، ونفي أن الحساب الاستثماري كان محاولة رشوة من قبل الحكيم.

[اعترف الحكيم بالذنب في نوفمبر 1989 لمحاولة استكمال راتب الشمال ، استنادًا جزئيًا إلى إنشاء حساب استثماري قيمته 200 ألف دولار. انظر فصل الحكيم.]

لم يكن الشمال قادرًا على إلقاء اللوم على الآخرين لقبوله نظام أمن الوطن من Secord ، باستثناء توضيح أنه قبل النظام ردًا على التهديدات الإرهابية التي تم الإبلاغ عنها على حياته. اعترف نورث أنه بعد أن أصبحت قضية إيران / كونترا معلنة ، قام بتبادل رسائل مزيفة مؤرخة مع جلين روبينيت ، وهو ضابط سابق في وكالة المخابرات المركزية والذي عمل مع شركة سيكورد في تثبيت النظام ، مما يشير إلى ترتيبات الدفع. & ldquo [I] كان أمرًا غبيًا إلى حد ما ، وقال rdquo North.

كان الكثير من الأموال التي جناها سيكورد والحكيم إما من فرض رسوم زائدة على حكومة الولايات المتحدة أو عدم سدادها بشكل صحيح. بطريقة ما ، تم دمج هذا النوع من النشاط في تصميم العملية. من خلال الشحن الزائد للإيرانيين والإسرائيليين ، تمكنوا من الحصول على أموال لتحويلها إلى الكونترا. لكنهم قاموا بشحن الكونترا أكثر من اللازم ، وكذلك الحكومة الأمريكية ، واحتفظوا بالمال لأنفسهم.

كانت المشكلة الأساسية مع أولي الشمال هي أنه كان يدير عملية غير قانونية بتفويض من الرئيس وفريق الأمن القومي بأكمله. ولم تكن المشكلة حتى أن أخطائه أدت إلى فضح عملية الكونترا وصفقة السلاح مقابل الرهائن الإيرانية دون تأمين الإفراج عن أي رهائن. لم تكن المشكلة أنه قام بتمزيق المستندات وحنث بنفسه. كانت المشكلة أنه استخدم منصبه في السرقة. وبالتأكيد لم يكن مخولاً من قبل أي شخص بالسرقة.

في الماضي ، لن يجادل أحد بأنه كان قرارًا حكيمًا تكليف أولي نورث بهذه العمليات. والسبب الرئيسي في أنه كان خطأ هو أن الشمال استخدم نفس الأشخاص الذين أخطأوا في عملية خليج الخنازير ، ونفس الأشخاص الذين أخطأوا في عملية سطو ووترغيت ونفس الأشخاص الذين استخدموا الثقة التي مُنحت لهم في لاوس أثناء حرب فيتنام. حرب لإدخال هيروين جنوب شرق آسيا في السوق العالمية. لم تكن الأخلاق هي نقطة القوة لهذا الطاقم ، ويجب أن يكون سجلهم من عدم الكفاءة والتعرض أسطوريًا ويتم تدريسه في كل مدرسة للعمليات السرية.

أنا و rsquom على ثقة تامة من أن الأشخاص الذين اتخذوا القرار بجعل أوليفر نورث رئيسًا لجمعية البندقية الوطنية ليسوا على دراية بسرقة North & rsquos وهم مكرسون للأسطورة الأسطورية للشمال أكثر من اهتمامهم بالرجل الفعلي. ربما كانوا قد فكروا بشكل أفضل ، مع ذلك ، في سجله الفعلي للأداء. تم الكشف عن خط الأنابيب الخاص به إلى الكونترا عندما أسقط الساندينيستا إحدى طائرات النقل North & rsquos وأسروا Eugene Hasenfus ، وهو طيار مخضرم في أيام تهريب الهيروين في Ted Shackley & rsquos Laotian. تم الكشف عن صفقات يُفترض أنها سرية مع الإيرانيين ، مما تسبب في فضيحة إيران-كونترا ، مع كل المشاكل القانونية التي حضرت ذلك ، بالإضافة إلى خلق كابوس سياسي للرئيس رونالد ريغان وولي عهده جورج إتش دبليو. دفع.

الشمال يعرف الكثير عن الأسلحة. يعرف كيف يؤمنها من تجار السلاح الدوليين والحكومات الأجنبية. يعرف كيف ينقلهم من مكان إلى آخر. إنه يعرف من يستأجر لإنشاء شركات وهمية وشراء الشحن والنقل الجوي. إنه يعرف كيف يتخلص من كل معاملة.

ما لا يعرفه هو كيف يفلت من العقاب. ما لا يعرفه هو كيفية تحقيق الأهداف التي تم تكليفه بها. لم يتم تأمين حرية الرهائن. ولم تبقى العمليات سرية. كل من شارك ، بما في ذلك رؤسائه ، تم الكشف عن أدوارهم و / أو تفجير غطاءهم.

الأهم من ذلك بالنسبة إلى NRA ، استخدم الشمال الإيمان الذي ائتمنه عليه للسرقة ، وبالتالي خان حتى القديس روني ريغان نفسه.

يجب أن يعرف أعضاء NRA هذا التاريخ لأنه بينما قد يعجبهم عندما يقول الشمال إنه يجب علينا المرور بخمسة أجهزة كشف معادن للوصول إلى مدرسة أطفالنا و rsquos ، فقد فازوا و rsquot مثل ذلك عندما يتبع الشمال طبيعته ويكتشف طريقة عن غير قصد فضح غسيلهم المتسخ أثناء خداعهم من أموالهم.

ومع المزيد والمزيد من الأدلة التي تشير إلى أن هيئة الموارد الطبيعية كانت بالفعل على مستوى أعناقهم في السلوك الإجرامي الذي ينطوي على استخدام الأموال الأجنبية لتمويل الحملات السياسية المحلية بشكل غير قانوني ، فقد حان الوقت الآن لجلب شخص مثل الشمال مع صلاته التي تعود إلى عقود من الزمن. كارثة تلو الأخرى؟


التاريخ اليهودي السري لأوليفر نورث

عند اختيار أوليفر نورث لقيادة اللوبي القوي المؤيد للسلاح ، أصبحت الرابطة الوطنية للبنادق (NRA) أكثر من مجرد العقل المدبر لقضية إيران كونترا ومجرم مدان كذب على الكونجرس. They’re also getting a rabidly pro-Israel Christian evangelist who for decades has been outing what he claims are anti-Semites in the U.S. government and chiding Palestinian leaders for not renouncing terrorism.

Just this past January, North led a 10-day trip to Israel for Freedom Alliance’s Holy Land Tour and Security Conference. “Together, we will visit Nazareth, the Jordan River, and the City of David we’ll dine on the Sea of Galilee and travel to places that make the words of the Old & New Testaments come alive,” wrote North in a letter to potential participants, posted on the website of Inspiration Cruises & Tours, which describes itself as a “Christian-owned and led company [that] turn[s] vacations into life-changing encounters in the best places on earth…. your opportunity to get away with God. … The privilege of serving the body of Christ and expanding His Kingdom on earth is what drives us to achieve ever-increasing levels of excellence.” The tour, North continued, would “explore the special relationship between the United States and Israel with informative seminars led by Israeli military, political and business leaders.” A “special relationship” in which North at one time was a key player. But I get ahead of myself.

North’s love affair with Israel is nothing new. At a 1989 Roundtable Prayer Breakfast for Israel at the National Religious Broadcasters convention sponsored by three Christian groups — the Religious Roundtable, the Brotherhood Forest of Israel, and Intercessors for America — North called on the Palestine Liberation Organization to condemn the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich, the Ma’alot massacre of schoolchildren, and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro cruise ship. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, North also recalled the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, calling it “the day in which Adolf Hitler turned loose his jack-booted thugs to start one of the most murderous atrocities known to man.”

In his 1991 book “Under Fire,” North wrote that the U.S. government contained an “ingrained streak of anti-Semitism” and that the State Department exhibited a “long-standing and barely hidden pro-Arab tilt.” He also took on former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger, writing that he “seemed to go out of his way to oppose Israel on any issue and to blame the Israelis for every problem in the Middle East,” attributing Weinberger’s antipathy toward the Jewish state to the latter’s “sensitivity about his own Jewish ancestry.”

But North of course is and always will be best known for his somewhat bizarre wheeling and dealing whereby this military assistant at the National Security Council oversaw arms sales to Ayatollah Khomeini-era Iran — he of “America is the Great Satan” — and used the profits to fund the anti-Sandinista campaign in Nicaragua by the Contras, in defiance of a Congressional ban on such assistance. In subsequent testimony before Congress, North himself termed the deal “a neat idea.”

In fact, the Iran-Contra deal was an outgrowth of secret arms sales of American weapons to Iran by Israel. Iran sought the weapons for its burgeoning struggle against Iraq, and in 1985 Iranian arms merchant Manucher Ghorbanifar and National Security Council consultant Michael Ledeen — the latter working for National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane — came a-calling in Washington. President Reagan himself approved the sales, funneled through Israel — which itself viewed this deal-with-the-presumptive-devil in the same “Godfather”-like terms held by the U.S., in which the enemy of my enemy is my friend — over the objections of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Secretary of State George Shultz. Saudi billionaire oil and arms trader Adnan Khashoggi also played a role in financing the effort. All of those involved became household names when the deal became public knowledge (via a report in a Lebanese newspaper) and an investigation was launched by a Joint House-Senate Committee, whose televised hearings were the biggest show out of Washington since Watergate a decade or so earlier. (Some termed the affair “Irangate.”)

There are those, however, who view North as having betrayed Israel with his plan to use the profits to fund the Contras. In order to do so, North removed Israel as the middleman in selling arms to Iran. Israel paid North back by cooperating with the congressional investigation, which resulted in the indictment of 14 administration officials (including Weinberger) and conviction of 11, including North. Of these, all either had their convictions reversed on appeal (mostly due to technicalities) or were pardoned by George H.W. Bush in the waning days of his presidency.

Some also see more than a modicum of irony in having North take the helm of an organization that pledges fealty to the U.S. Constitution, albeit mostly focused on one particular amendment to the founding organizational document of the United States.

“For an organization so concerned with law and order, picking a new leader who admitted that he lied to Congress is a truly remarkable decision,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The gun lobby, continued Gardiner, “will be led by a man whose own concealed carry permit was revoked because he was ‘not of good character.’”


Oliver North - History

Furthering the Version

Reagan-myth worshipers would prefer to erase from the national conscious and conscience the embarrassing events of the final years of his second term, especially the entire Iran-Contra affair. It was, for a lot of people, yet another case of a Republican administration getting caught up in another humiliating scandal. In many ways, the Iran-Contra affair went far beyond anything seen in the Watergate hearings.

The threat of another Cuba had preoccupied the Reagan administration and, with the openly declared mission of the Nicaraguan Marxist regime to spread revolution throughout the region, the policy had been to arm and train right wing insurgent militias called the Contras.

However, direct funding of this insurgency was made illegal through the Boland Amendment -the name given to three U.S. legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984, all aimed at limiting US government assistance to the Contras militants.

In order to circumvent these laws, senior officials of the Reagan administration decided to continue arming and training the Contras secretly and in violation of the law as enacted in the Boland Amendment. Senior Reagan administration officials started what they came to call "the Enterprise."

Additionally, in order to raise funds- obviously everything had to be “off the books”- another scheme was devised to finance their illegal funding of the Contras insurgency. At that time, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, one of our allies, had launched into a bloody war against Iran. Arm sales to Iran, a violation of the official US policy of an arms embargo, were established, initially through third parties and then directly, and the profits were funneled into funding for the Contras. (That is the shortest possible version.)

Eventually, as could have been expected, the whole thing, blew up in everybody’s faces. The Democratic-controlled Congress was enraged by the administration’s lies and conducted a bi-partisan investigation.

People forget and people forgive, but mostly they forget. However, I do recall North's six-day appearance before the a special joint House and Senate investigating committee investigating Iran-Contra events. He was for a lot of viewers one of the stars in what seemed to be a tiresome redux of Watergate. All summer long the hearings appeared on daytime television, like a third rate sumer stock production of an obscure historical tragedy.

Political bias along party lines was painfully clear. One one side, a group of white haired pale faced men made long monotone speeches that somehow became questions at the last moment. On the other side, another pale face, accompanied by a whispering lawyer, would usually answer, “I can’t recall that, Senator.” All the events seemed practiced and self-serving. Nobody seemed very interested in either asking the right questions or giving the honest answers. A sad spectacle, in every sense of the word.

Then along came Oliver North, the dashing ex-Marine, in full military regalia, a stamp collection of medals over his heart. Handsome and well-spoken, he oozed charisma and patriotism. This was a hero, people remarked at the time. When he spoke, it was difficult not to be moved. Unlike so many of those that testified before him, North appeared committed to his mission and stood proudly to defend his noble ideals. Based only on appearance, North was a hero in the Iran-Contra scandal. Yet, as details emerged from a closer committee examination, things were not nearly as black and white as they initially appeared.

Lt. Colonel North freely admitted that he had shredded documents, lied to Congress and falsified official records. Such seeming forthrightness was courageous and admirable. In a weird mix of political spin and legalese, North told the committee, "I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version."

The final opinion of the committee was not at all favorable to President Reagan. With the sharp criticism of the president, the report concluded that a “cabal of zealots” in the administration had managed to take control of key aspects of foreign policy. Among the targets of the criticism were Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, the former National Security Council aide Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, the president’s former national security adviser William J. Casey, the former director of central intelligence and Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

Despite strong condemnation in the final report on the Iran-Contra Scandal. for a number of House Republicans, North was, and is still today, unquestionably a hero. Sean Wilentz points out in a New York Times' op-ed piece: .

At the conclusion of the hearings, a dissenting minority report codified these views. The report’s chief author was a former resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael J. Malbin, who was chosen by Mr. Cheney as a member of the committee’s minority staff. Another member of the minority’s legal staff, David S. Addington, was later the vice president’s chief of staff.

The minority report stressed the charge that the inquiry was a sham, calling the majority report’s allegations of serious White House abuses of power “hysterical.” The minority admitted that mistakes were made in the Iran-contra affair but laid the blame for them chiefly on a Congress that failed to give consistent aid to the Nicaraguan contras and then overstepped its bounds by trying to restrain the White House.

The Reagan administration, according to the report, had erred by failing to offer a stronger, principled defense of what Mr. Cheney and others considered its full constitutional powers. Not only did the report defend lawbreaking by White House officials it condemned Congress for having passed the laws in the first place.

Like so much of the Neo-conservative rhetoric, tin the dissenting report was much picking and choosing of statements made by founding fathers to give weight to their argument. For example, a bit of the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton’s remarks endorsing “energy in the executive” gave an aura of approval. If anything, according to the dissenting minority report, the powers of president should be less restrained and limited by the legal restrictions imposed by Congress. As Wilentz notes:.

Hamilton certainly desired a strong executive, but warned that it would be “utterly unsafe and improper” to give a president complete control over foreign policy.

In truth, as Mr. Cheney has also remarked, the struggle for him began much earlier, during the Nixon administration. A business partner says that Mr. Cheney told him that Watergate was merely “a political ploy by the president’s enemies.” For Mr. Cheney, the scandal was not Richard Nixon’s design for an imperial presidency but the Democrats’ drive for an imperial Congress.

Still, Mr. Cheney’s quest to accumulate unaccountable executive power — a quest that has received much attention of late — took a major turn 20 years ago. And part of Iran-contra’s legacy has now become a legacy of the Bush-Cheney administration.

The Federalist Papers , incidentally, have a great deal of interesting things to say about the potential for governmental abuse of power, such as, “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” Those are, of course, excerpts that Dick Cheney would have skimmed.

Madison also warned against another kind of threat to the republic which would relate to North’s later career. In Federalist No. 10, for example, in answer to Hamilton, Madison warned against the the destructive role of faction in breaking apart the republic. He defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community." He identifies the most serious source of faction to be the diversity of opinion in political life which leads to dispute over fundamental issues such as what regime or religion should be preferred.

Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.

James Madison, November 22, 1787

In any case, in the minority report, we can see, perhaps, an unheeded warning for the future. For in different Republican administration, it was precisely this disdain of oversight and contempt for Congress- and the Constitution- that was to led to the abuse of the Bush II administration, with Cheney presiding.

Bungled Justice

Mr. North was eventually convicted of three federal felonies — receiving an illegal payment, obstruction of a Congressional inquiry and destroying official documents, although an appellate court held that his testimony delivered under Congressional immunity may have affected jurors and reversed one conviction.

In fact, North served no jail time whatsoever which left both his admirers and his detractor scratching her heads in disbelief.

According to a New York times article Mr. North, the former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and National Security Council aide, was convicted of destroying documents, accepting the gift of a $13,800 home security system and abetting the obstruction of Congress. [Federal District] Judge Gesell could have imposed a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fines of $750,000. Instead, he imposed a $150,000 fine, two years of probation, a three-year suspended sentence and an order to perform 1,200 hours of community service.

The decision was, no doubt, a sound political move. A campaign had been underway for a presidential pardon which would have put then president George Bush, Sr. in a particularly difficult situation. George Bush I, vice president for Reagan, along with others in the Reagan cabinet, had been the prime backers in the arms for hostages plan. No doubt Bush was delighted and relieved. Yet this decision was proof enough for most people that justice, according to the Far Right, was only an admirable but flexible ideal.

In fact, president George Bush, Sr., formerly vice- president during the operation, would later go on to pardon Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger. along with five other Iran/contra defendants.

The Weinberger pardon marked the first time a President ever pardoned someone in whose trial he might have been called as a witness, because the President was knowledgeable of factual events underlying the case. Apparently the prevailing notion was: some things are just too important to leave for justice to decide .

With each Republican cycle, the scope of the abuse of power seems to grow larger and affect more innocent lives. If Watergate was a sordid tale of a bungled burglary, Iran-Contra was a pathetic account of a bungled covert operation, and so many of the same players returned for the next act, in a deadly serious performance of a bungled war. Isn't it only fair to ask what the next bit of theater will be? A bungled overthrow of the government? A bungled Armageddon?

"Right-wing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of right-wing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by right-wing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.

Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists. DHS/ I & A is concerned that righ-twing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.

Race was also mentioned in the report.

He concludes with this rather cheap shot:

In his own mind and the collective mind of Fox news, Oliver North has been defamed and victimized and long misunderstood. He has said, "I'm like John Wayne. I only play good guys." (The operative word, one might assume, is "play.")

On a radio talk show with Randi Rhodes , North himself appeared to have swallowed his own revisionist history of the Iran-Contra events when he claimed "No-one even charged me of lying to Congress" Rhodes immediately pointed out that according to the Report of the Independent Counsel:


"Count One: The indictment charged that North and McFarlane obstructed Congress by falsely denying in three letters North's contra- assistance efforts.

"Counts Two, Three, and Four: False statements to Congress, charging specific misrepresentations in the three letters described in Count One."

Later he would tell listeners that "Lawrence Walsh had every record from my office, he had absolutely everything." Again the report by Independent Counsel prove the contrary.

Perhaps most outrageously, North refutes all the allegations against him despite the record.

Oliver North: "No-one ever convicted of me of lying to Congress" Randi Rhodes: "You were convicted in a court of law"

Oliver North: "I am denying it"

Report of the Independent Counsel:

"On May 4, 1989, he was found guilty of three counts, including aiding and abetting obstruction of Congress, shredding and altering official documents, and accepting an illegal gratuity from Secord."

Such confabulations shouldn't surprise anybody when the interview begins with a statement from North as, "Randi, Randi, one of the reasons why liberals don’t make it in radio is they can’t tell the truth. First of all. "

Forever Denied


According to the San Jose Mercury News Gary Webb’s expose and subsequent book Dark Alliance: the CIA, the contras, and the crack cocaine explosion cites the Kerry report on the connections between terrorism and drugs the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by Contra personnel. Webb charged that the Reagan administration shielded inner-city drug dealers from prosecution in order to raise money for the Contras, especially after Congress passed the Boland Amendment , which prohibited direct Contra funding.

In 1987, the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations began an investigation focusing on allegations received by the subcommittee chairman, Senator John Kerry, concerning illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking associated with the Contras. A two-year investigation produced a 1,166-page report in 1989 analyzing the involvement of Contra groups and supporters in drug trafficking, and the role of United States government officials in these activities. Allegations of cocaine trafficking by Contras also arose during the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh into the Iran-Contra affair. Drug trafficking allegations, however, were not the focus of that inquiry and the Walsh report included no findings on these allegations.

The Kerry Report was, in fact, a well-researched and scathing document which established a clear relationship between high level officials in government and drug cartels. Among the allegations, here are a few as stated in the introduction of the report which seem particularly relevant.

We learned how high United States officials, including Lt. Col. Oliver North, went to the Justice Department to intercede on behalf of a man convicted of a narco-terrorist assassination plot against a Honduran President--because the man had been the administration's liaison to the Contras.

We also found out that the State Department chose four companies controlled by drug traffickers to provide assistance to the Contras. As a result, drug traffickers got funds out of the United States public treasury as part of our Contra humanitarian assistance program.

We were told by the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency that someone at the National Security Counsel leaked information on a DEA drug sting operation against the Sandinistas in order to influence a congressional vote on Contra aid, causing the operation to abort.

After the Gary Webb report in the Mercury News, the CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz was assigned to investigate these allegations in 1996. Although the investigators promised to release their report in three months, it was only pressure by both the Washington Post and New York Times, that news stated that Hitz had found no “direct of indirect” connection between the CIA and cocaine traffickers.

When the report was finally the release, much of the controversy had dissolved. The implications of the report were virtually ignored by the media. According to the book, Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press , by authors Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, the Hitz report described a cable from the CIA's Directorate of Operations dated October 22, 1982, describing a prospective meeting between Contra leaders in Costa Rica for "an exchange in [the United States] of narcotics for arms, which then are shipped to Nicaragua." The two main Contra groups, US arms dealers, and a lieutenant of a drug ring which imported drugs from Latin America to the US west coast were set to attend the Costa Rica meeting. The lieutenant trafficker was also a Contra, and the CIA knew that there was an arms-for-drugs shuttle and did nothing to stop it.

The United States was not the only nation investigating North's involvement with shady organizations. For example, in the second report by the Costa Rican Assembly's Commission on Narcotics Trafficking , an examination of the explosion of cocaine and drug trafficking in during the 1980s, the commission recommended that that former ambassador Lewis Tambs , CIA station chief Joseph F. Fernandez , and Lt. Col. Oliver North be forever denied entry in Costa Rica, a recommendation adopted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.

Easy Hero

North ran unsuccessfully as a Republican Senate candidate in Virginia. On the eve of the election, former first lady Nancy Reagan told a reporter that North had lied to her husband when discussing Iran-Contra with the former president, effectively stopping his campaign.

In this current Wonderland of Republican politics, who knows whether Palin might not choose him as her running mate? Given the respective characters at play, there is a kind of warped logic about it.

North has penned several books, fiction and non-fiction (though many reviewers wouldn't care to distinguish one from the other). It has been a gradual but steady rehabilitation of his image with the kind assistance of his Fox Friends.

In past years, with his pal Sean Hannity, he has helped organize and is the honorary chairman for the Freedom Alliance , whose mission, according to its website, "is to advance the American heritage of freedom by honoring and encouraging military service, defending the sovereignty of the United States and promoting a strong national defense."

Freedom Alliance , a 501(c)3 educational and charitable foundation, was founded in 1990 by Lt.Col Oliver L. North, who now serves as the organization's honorary chairman. We will work to "keep America strong, keep America prosperous, and keep America free," said North upon the founding of Freedom Alliance.

For the last several years, Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance “charity” have conducted “Freedom Concerts” across America. The organization is raises funds for scholarships for the children of fallen soldiers and to pay severely wounded war vets. However, ultra-conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel charged that entire arrangement was nothing more than a scam.

In fact, less than 20%–and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively–of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferry the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity’s statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes. Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.

Freedom Alliance has strongly denied such allegations , calling them "false and malicious."

His last book, American Heroes he wrote "first hand accounts of faithful American heroes in the fight against global terrorism and jihad." Interestingly, but perhaps not unexpectedly, the book shares a copyright with Fox.

He has a comfortable life, I am sure, a warm home and a large family. North has four children, eleven grandchildren, and lives with his wife in Virginia.

He has plenty of people to share his thoughts with and a warm blanket. He is able to come and go as he pleases, and he has the luxury of choosing his meals. Whenever he wishes, he can step outside and look at the sky.

Not so far away from this decorated hero's Virginia home, however, in a Quantico prison, there is another soldier who is considered a hero by many. And, not unlike Oliver North, many consider him a traitor who betrayed his country. Without standing trial or without being convicted, Bradley Manning has already served more time in prison than Oliver North. Many patriotic Americans have condemned Manning. It is, for them, a clear case Manning swore an oath and he broke that oath, a crime that Oliver North shares with Manning.

North, at the commencement of his testimony before the Congressional hearings back in 1986, boldly stated something Bradley Manning might well have said, "I am here to accept responsibility for that which I did. I will not accept responsibility for that which I did not do. I came here to tell you the truth, the good, the bad and the ugly. I never considered myself a fall guy. I know what I did. I know why I did it. I'm not ashamed of it."

However, the obvious difference between Manning and North is that North made this noble declaration, not facing life in prison or a firing squad and not in solitary confinement, but under a grant of immunity. Given Lt. Col. North's Fifth amendment objections when subpoenaed, the only way to obtain his testimony was to compel it through a grant of use immunity. Despite the fact that North was the target of an a criminal investigation, It was felt that without his testimony the record would have been incomplete. Nothing he told Congress would, or could, be used against him in a criminal proceeding. Being honest, therefore, would cost him nothing.

Under those circumstances,. it's fairly easy to be a hero.

Drawing Comparisons

This week, the military brought 22 new charges - including one that carries the death penalty - against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning. That capital offense, according to the statement that outlined the 22 charges, was aiding and abetting the enemy- although it was not clear who the proposed enemy was. Presumably, the rest of the world.

While military prosecutors have recommended life in prison instead, "the presiding military judge would have the authority to dismiss the prosecution's recommendation and impose the death penalty," according to NBC .

Manning stated in his private chats to an informer, “God knows what happens now.. hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. If not… than we’re doomed.. as a species. I will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens. I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

On the other hand, perhaps the same defense could be used in Manning's case as well, Here is a statement made by Obama in a town hall meeting for the future leaders of China:


Oliver North - History

Oliver County, North Dakota

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Oliver County History
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Oliver North

The scandal grew worse for the Reagan administration after it became clear that National Security Council member Oliver North had ordered the destruction and concealment of documents related to the Iran and Contra arms sale. In July 1987, North testified before a televised hearing of a special joint congressional committee created to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal. North admitted that he had lied when describing the deal to Congress in 1985, stating that he had viewed the Nicaraguan Contras as “freedom fighters” engaged in a war against the Communist Sandinista government. Based on his testimony, North was indicted on a series of federal felony charges and ordered to stand trial.

During the 1989 trial, North’s secretary Fawn Hall testified that she had helped her boss shred, alter, and remove official United States National Security Council documents from his White House office. North testified that he had ordered the shredding of “some” documents in order to protect the lives of certain individuals involved in the arms deal.

On May 4, 1989, North was convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice and was sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term, two years on probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours of community service. However, on July 20, 1990, his conviction was vacated when a federal court of appeals ruled that North’s televised 1987 testimony to Congress may have improperly influenced the testimony of some witnesses at his trial. After taking office in 1989, President George H.W. Bush issued presidential pardons to six other individuals who had been convicted for their involvement in the scandal.


Oliver North Worked With Cocaine Traffickers to Arm Terrorists. Now He’ll Be President of the NRA.

The National Rifle Association has always been clear about drugs: They’re terrifying.

Last year, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre darkly warned that members of drug gangs “are infiltrating law enforcement and even the military.” In 2013, LaPierre proclaimed that “Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States” and are a key part of the “hellish world” that awaits us in the future. When Charlton Heston was president of the NRA in the 1990s, he declared that regular Americans would soon be besieged by 10,000 drug dealers freed from prison by the Clinton administration.

It seems odd, then, that the next president of the NRA will soon be Oliver North, who spent years in the 1980s working together with large-scale cocaine traffickers and protecting a notorious narco-terrorist from the rest of the U.S. government.

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This reality about North has been largely covered up, first by North himself and then by Fox News and the passage of time. Thirty years later, it’s been almost totally forgotten. But the facts remain genuinely appalling.

North was an active-duty Marine when he joined the Reagan administration’s National Security Council in 1981. One of Reagan’s top priorities was organizing and funding the Contras, a guerrilla military force, to overthrow the revolutionary socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. But the Contras engaged in extensive, gruesome terrorism against Nicaraguan civilians. Congress gradually reduced and then eliminated appropriations supporting them, leading the Reagan administration to secretly search for money elsewhere.

According to the report from a later congressional investigation, North was put in charge of this operation, which participants dubbed “The Enterprise.”

"Report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair,” U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran U.S. Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, 1987

North enthusiastically looked for cash wherever he could find it and led many of the clandestine schemes that later became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. The Sultan of Brunei donated $10 million (which North’s secretary Fawn Hall accidentally wired to the wrong Swiss bank account), and Saudi Arabia ponied up as well. North also pushed what he called “a neat idea”: selling U.S. military equipment to Iran, with the proceeds passed along to the Contras.

Meanwhile, the Contras had a neat idea of their own: facilitating cocaine trafficking through Central America into the U.S., with a cut going toward supporting their war against the Sandinistas. Some Contras were themselves cocaine traffickers, and others were simply happy to make alliances of convenience with drug cartels.

There’s no evidence that North actively wanted cocaine to be smuggled into the U.S. It was simply that he had other priorities. But was he aware of the Contras’ drug trafficking? نعم فعلا. Did he try to shield one of “his” cocaine traffickers from consequences from the other branches of the U.S. government? نعم فعلا. Did he work together with a known drug lord? نعم فعلا.

All in all, North’s connections to drug trafficking were so egregious that in 1989 he was banned from entering Nicaragua’s neighbor Costa Rica by Óscar Arias, the country’s president and 1987 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

This may seem shocking to the easily shocked. But it’s all been documented in various government investigations. All you need in order to learn about it is curiosity and an internet connection. For instance, here’s a screenshot from the CIA’s website about the Nicaraguan Revolutionary Democratic Alliance, or ADREN by its Spanish acronym, which was later folded into the Contras:

"Allegations of Connections Between CIA and The Contras in Cocaine Trafficking to the United States,” CIA, 1998

The full extent of North’s complicity in cocaine trafficking will never be known. When the Iran-Contra scandal story broke in November 1986, he ordered Hall to destroy so many documents that the shredder malfunctioned, and she had to ask White House maintenance to come and fix it. Moreover, when North was removed from his National Security Council job, he took with him 2,848 pages of daily notes — which legally belonged to the federal government. By the time a congressional investigation was finally able to examine the notes, North and his lawyers had redacted huge amounts of information. Nonetheless, 543 of the pages mentioned drugs or drug trafficking, with the probe finding that “in many of these cases, material in the Notebooks adjacent to the narcotics references has been deleted.”

"Drugs, Law Enforcement And Foreign Policy,” U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 1989

But despite North’s cover-up, what we do know for sure is incredibly damning.

Perhaps most significantly, according to North’s own notes he met with Panama’s then-dictator Manuel Noriega in London in September 1986 to collaborate on a plan for Noriega to support the Contras in return for American money and arms. They discussed sabotaging a Nicaraguan airport and oil refinery, as well as creating a program to train Contra and Afghan mujahedeen commandos in Panama with Israeli help. (It’s not completely clear, but North appears to have written that “Rabin” – i.e., Yitzhak Rabin, who was then Israel’s minister of defense – “approves.”)

North was clearly enthusiastic about the potential partnership with Noriega. In an earlier email selling the proposal to one of his superiors, he wrote that “we might have available a very effective, very secure means of doing some of the things which must be done if the Nicaragua project is going to succeed. … I believe we could make the appropriate arrangements w/ reasonable OPSEC and deniability.”

Email, Oliver North to John Poindexter, May 8, 1986

But of course, Noriega was himself a powerful drug trafficker. Knowing this didn’t require a top-secret clearance: It was published on the front page of the New York Times three months before North met with him. According to the Times article, “A White House official said the most significant drug-running in Panama was being directed by General Noriega.”

The North-Noriega operation ultimately didn’t come to fruition the Iran-Contra affair was exposed just two months after they met. But the planning that did occur is conclusive evidence that North eagerly worked with drug dealers operating on the largest scale imaginable.

“Panama Strongman Said to Trade In Drugs, Arms and Illicit Money,” New York Times, June 11, 1986

North also went to great lengths to protect an ally who was a key participant in what the Justice Department called “the most significant case of narco-terrorism yet discovered.”

In 1984, José Bueso Rosa, a Honduran general, plotted with several others to assassinate the president of Honduras. They planned to fund the hit with the proceeds from selling 760 pounds of cocaine in the U.S. The FBI, however, had the participants under surveillance, intercepted the shipment when it arrived at a small airfield in Florida, and arrested everyone involved.

But Bueso had played a key role in Honduran support for the Contras. So North went to work to get him off as lightly as possible. (Bueso had not himself been charged with drug trafficking, but wiretaps made it obvious he participated in that part of the project.)

In email, North explained his plans to “cabal quietly” with other Reagan administration officials “to look at options: pardon, clemency, deportation, reduced sentence.” Eventually, North planned to have the case’s judge informed “in camera” — that is, secretly — about “our equities in this matter,” in order to push for leniency. Then, North wrote, it would be necessary to quietly brief Bueso, so that he wouldn’t “start singing songs nobody wants to hear.”

North didn’t get everything he wanted, but did succeed in having Bueso transferred to a “Club Fed” minimum security prison. Bueso was released on parole after 40 months.

هناك أيضا numerous documented examples of North being informed that members of the Contras were involved in drug trafficking, with no signs that North took any action.

For instance, after meeting with a key assistant, North wrote in his notebooks about a plane being used by the brother of a top Contra leader to ferry supplies from the U.S. to Central America. “Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans,” North jotted down, “is probably being used for drug runs into U.S.”

North testified in front of Congress that he’d passed this information along to the Drug Enforcement Administration. When later questioned by the Washington Post, the DEA, the State Department, and the U.S. Customs Service all stated that there was no evidence North ever said anything about the matter to them.

Oliver North, notes, August 9, 1985

The same aide who told North about the plane also informed him about the “potential involvement with drug running” of one Contra official and that another was “now involved in drug running out of Panama.” And after a call from another subordinate, North noted that the Contras were planning to buy weapons from a Honduran warehouse — and 󈫾 M to finance came from drugs.”

North was getting similar reports from outside the government as well. Dennis Ainsworth, a Republican real estate investor who’d volunteered to help the Contra cause, informed a U.S. attorney that the top Contra commander “was involved in drug trafficking,” but that the Nicaraguan community was frightened to come forward because “they could be blown away by Colombia hit squads.” Ainsworth said he’d tried to inform the White House about this but “we were put off by Ollie North,” and “I was even physically threatened by one of Ollie North’s associates.” (The U.S. attorney later wrote a memo with Ainsworth’s statements and transmitted it to the FBI.)

“Regarding Dennis Madden Ainsworth, Information Concerning,” FBI, January 6, 1987

North and the NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment on this history. When North ran for Senate in 1994, his campaign spokesperson said his involvement with the Bueso case was “old news and garbage and nobody cares about it.” In a 2004 appearance on Fox News, North called a congressional investigation that focused on the Contra-cocaine connection “a witch hunt” with witnesses “who clearly had a political agenda.”

But the extraordinarily sordid nature of North’s past will be clear to anyone who appraises it honestly. In announcing North’s appointment, Wayne LaPierre said there’s “no one better suited to serve as our president,” and he’s correct. Óscar Arias wrote Thursday that the NRA “finds in Oliver North a leader worthy of its mission.” Peter Kornbluh, who was co-director of the Iran-Contra documentation project at the National Security Archive, is even more straightforward: North, he says, is “the perfect pick to further the NRA’s reputation for favoring bloodshed and criminality over responsible gun control and ownership.”